Craig Beattie on how he ‘preempted’ semi-final heroics against Celtic

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Craig Beattie has revealed that he always planned to go right down the middle with his cup semi-final penalty against Celtic, because he’d thought about the scenario before the match.

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Craig Beattie celebrates his penalty strike in the 2012 Scottish Cup semi-final. Picture: SNS

Craig Beattie celebrates his penalty strike in the 2012 Scottish Cup semi-final. Picture: SNS

Despite playing for Hearts for just a few months, Beattie will forever remain a favourite in Gorgie for the injury-time goal he dispatched in the 2012 Scottish Cup semi against his former side.

That pushed Hearts into the final, where they would defeat rivals Hibs 5-1 on a day that ranks among the best in the club’s history.

Beattie insists he wasn’t nervous before the kick and wasn’t going to be put off by Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew’s attempt at mind games, or his own captain looking to take the spot-kick himself.

He told the Scottish Sun: “Jamie Hamill was our regular penalty taker but he was out injured and we hadn’t even discussed who would hit them. Once it was given I made a beeline for the ball.

“Big Marius Zaliukas came towards me to try to take it, but I politely told him to leave me alone. I knew I was going down the middle and I had pre-empted it, so I knew what I was going to do.

“I think because I had prepared myself for that moment happening, it made it easier for me. A few of my mates were in the ground and said I looked like the coolest man around, but that’s because I knew where I was putting it.

“Charlie Mulgrew tried to put me off — he came and stood beside me and he had a quiet word.

“The referee was trying to sort everything out, so I decided to have a bit of banter back with him and it kept me relaxed.

“I might have planned what I was going to do with the penalty but I certainly hadn’t planned a celebration. I just remember going crazy because it was some feeling.”

On his celebration, he added: “The celebration was all spontaneous. I remember taking the shirt off and heading for the fans.

“After that the club were printing t-shirts, hoodies, pencil cases, mugs, you name it, with me on it. It was crazy.

“I still remember my gran asking me to get five mugs for her. It was a bit surreal but some feeling.”